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Helen scurried to the dressing room. Her suit clung as she tugged it down her ribs. Then she realized she would only have to change again, so she tugged the straps back up, before wrapping herself in the tiny white towel and gathering her clothes and purse. She didn’t look at Hank or the other men, but the boy was floating nearest the exit, with his arms spread along the edge of the planks. His forearms and biceps were thin, puny, but he seemed unaware of the fact, unselfconscious. He stared up at her with his wet and pocked face.
She was wincing over gravel before she saw she was aimed not at the other bathhouse, but the car. The passenger door was unlocked, and she climbed in and slammed it. Her keys, the spare keys, were at the bottom of her purse. She could dig them out. She could go anywhere, home, to Brian’s dorm, back to the B&B. She pictured Hank finding her there, the way she would be posed in the chair beside the fireplace, hands folded in her lap, her bathing suit soaking into the antique upholstery, the same way the car seat was growing damp under her right now. If she leapt up, it might not be too late. She could blot the seat, run in for a second and a third towel, before the moisture spread any further, wetting whatever she changed into. It was her own fault. It would be a horrible drive home, but if she acted quickly, she might improve it. She could at least make the ride bearable.